Music department hosts last concert of the semester


Michael Golemo conducting the Symphonic Band inside Stephens Auditorium

Jack Mcclellan

Iowa State’s music department hosted their last concert of the year Sunday night, featuring three separate bands and a joint performance of Jingle Bells. The concert, loosely centered around Holiday themes, gave students a chance to showcase the music they’ve practiced throughout the year and gave graduating seniors an opportunity to be honored at their last Iowa State Concert.

The concert began at 7:00 p.m. with the ISU Concert Band under the direction of Javan Shields, assistant teaching professor in music and theatre. The band performed “Clouds That Sail in Heaven” by Todd Stalter, then “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Steven Bryant.

After the Concert Band’s first two songs, Abby Freymuth, a student conductor and senior majoring in music, took the stage to conduct the songs “Variations on Scarborough Fair” By Calvin Custer and “Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre.

After Freymuth’s conduction, Shields once again took the stage to honor all of the seniors who would be graduating after the fall semester. Shields explained how hard these students had worked at their musical abilities throughout their college careers and where they planned to lead their lives after graduation.

To finish off the Concert Band’s set, the group performed “My Neighbor Totoro,” arranged by Yo Gato. According to Shields, this song was set to be performed back in the spring of 2020 but was canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19. With concerts back in action, many students requested to bring back this favorite.

After the Concert Band was the Symphonic Band, which was under the direction of Michael Golemo, professor of theatre and music. The Symphonic Band performed “Anitschka” by Johan Nijs, then “Toccata” by Girolamo Frescobaldi, Gaspar Cassadó and arranged by Earl Slocum. After these performances, Levi Frasier, a student conductor and senior majoring in music, led the band in the song “Tribute” by Travis Cross.

After the performance led by Frazier Golemo, addressed the audience, explaining that no members of the symphonic band were to graduate this fall, meaning all members of the band would get to perform in another concert before their time at Iowa State ends. Golemo then introduced the Symphonic Band’s final piece for the night, a liturgical song from the Eastern Orthodox Church adopted to be played by a large symphonic band.

After the Symphonic Band’s performance, the Wind Ensemble moved to the stage, also directed by Golemo. The ensemble first performed “The Wilderness” by Rossano Galante. After their first piece, Christian Carichner, guest conductor and associate director of bands, directed the ensemble in the song “This Cruel Moon” by John Mackey.

After the ensemble finished with the guest conductor, Golemo once again took the stage to give some context to the ensemble’s final performance, “Minor Alterations” by David Lovrien. This piece took several classical Christmas tunes and flipped them on their heads with more sinister and dark tones.

To finish off the night, all three bands joined together in one performance of “Jingle Bells,” arranged by Golemo himself. Both the Concert and Symphonic bands lined the walls of Stephen’s auditorium while the Wind Ensemble stayed on stage. Together the three bands filled the auditorium with holiday cheer, fostering everybody’s holiday spirit. After the performance, Briar Hoversten, a sophomore majoring in music education who played the baritone saxophone in the Symphonic Band, offered his take on the joint performance.

“I enjoyed having the opportunity to play with all the other bands, cause it’s not something you’re able to do at all the concerts,” Hoversten said. “I think the performance itself sounded nice, given that we were all spread out through the auditorium. Everyone kept their eye on Doc Golemo and I think it sounded good.”